On Oct. 20 legal secretary Jessica Doherty was appointed to the board of the Lyons Township School Treasurer’s Office, commonly known as the TTO. But that’s likely not why Doherty will always remember that day. Earlier that day, she gave birth to a baby. 

But, she still managed to join the virtual board meeting held that day to accept her appointment to the Lyons TTO board and to cast her first votes.

The TTO manages money for school districts in Lyons Township.

Doherty, a resident of Countryside, works as legal secretary for the municipal law firm of Louis F. Cainkar Ltd., which is based in Burbank and represents many southwestern suburban communities including McCook and Bridgeview.

Louis F. Cainkar Ltd. has also served in the past as legal counsel for the Lyons TTO. State Sen. Steve Landek, who has been the main protector of the Lyons TTO in the Illinois General Assembly, also serves as the mayor of Bridgeview.

Doherty was the only applicant to apply to replace board member Michael Dickman, who suddenly quit the TTO board in September two months after he was appointed. Dickman had replaced Nicholas Kantas, who had resigned from the board in June. Dickman had served a prior six-year term on the board before not running for re-election earlier this year. 

Doherty has worked for the Cainkar law firm since 2013, according to the resume she submitted to the Lyons TTO board which the Landmark obtained by filing a Freedom of Information request. She also has served as the recording secretary for the Central Stickney Sanitary District since 2020.

Doherty graduated from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. While in college she worked for a few summers as a financial assistant for village of Oak Lawn.

Immediately before formally voting to appoint Doherty, the two other TTO board members welcomed Doherty to the board.

“We have talked about it and we think you would be an amazing fit to our little family trustee board here,” Trustee Shakana Kirksey-Miller told Doherty during the meeting when she informed Doherty that she was going to be appointed to the board. “I think your commitment to your community, your schools, your family is outstanding.”

Kirksey-Miller said she was amazed that Doherty would attend a meeting, even virtually, on the same day she gave birth.

 “I think that speaks volumes to who you are as a person, as a worker and I am astounded by that,” Kirksey-Miller said.

After the 2-0 vote to appoint her, board President Mike Thiessen invited Doherty to say a little something and to brag about herself, but Doherty demurred.

“I’m more on the humble side,” Doherty said. “I don’t know if there’s much to brag about, but I’m very excited to move forward with you guys as a new board and I hope to learn much from all of you and I look forward to working with you. That’s all I can think of right now.”

The Landmark could not reach Doherty for an interview despite asking Kirksey-Miller and Treasurer Ken Getty to ask Doherty to call the Landmark. As of Nov. 1, the Lyons TTO website did not list an email address for Doherty, and her email address and telephone number were redacted from the resume provided to the Landmark.